Saturday, August 27, 2011

Why I love Book Bloggers

Book Bloggers are creative, intelligent people who spread the word about great books. Earlier this year, when my debut book SCANDAL AT THE FARMHOUSE came out, book bloggers became my new best friends. Why? Because many of them were willing to give up their precious free time to read and review an unknown author, and luckily, most of them liked my book and helped me to make the transition from 'aspiring author' to yes-I-really-am-a-writer-now, just like I always wanted to be. Bloggers consistently pick the winners. This week I'm reading Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, which has received rave reviews all round.

I absolutely LOVE some of the ingenious names people dream up for their sites:
'Sniff Books Not Drugs' and 'Attack of the Book' and 'Stiletto Storytime' and 'Fictitious Delicious' to name but a few. Then there's Forever Young Adult - 'for YA readers who are a little less Y and a bit more A'!!! Erm ...that would be me.

Review blogs come in all shapes and sizes - from tiny start-ups with just a handful of followers to giant mega blogs with a readership in the thousands. The presentation is sassy and clever, and many sites are works of art in themselves.

Many publishers send ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) directly to their favourite bloggers to get critical feedback before the book is released.  The bloggers are amazingly efficient at timing the release of the review to coincide with the release of the book. It is harder to get a review from one of these giants - because they  receive thousands of requests, but it you do, it will instantly boost sales. Some even post a weekly VLOG on youtube showing off their haul to the world. It's worth pointing out that small blogs grow very rapidly into big blogs, too. I've seen the list of people following Laurie Here quadruple in a few short months!

The reviews are often witty and insightful, very rarely hurtful - but if you follow a lot of blogs (and trust me, I follow a few) you soon get a clear idea of what's hot and what's not.
Some like to use Net Galley to grab the hottest books before they even hit the shelves. But many of them will review a book that is already in print - great news for authors who are learning to promote their own work. 

More and more bloggers are accepting Indie books now.  Some bloggers estimate that twenty-five percent of their To Be Read pile is self-published. But others are very fussy about what they will and won't review. Authors need to check their review policy carefully (if you can find it - bloggers, take note!).

Book Bloggers are a force to be reckoned with. They network. They go to conferences. They are organized. They also have some very cute buttons you can grab:

Candace's Book Blog

So, support book bloggers. They are great for readers and great for writers. 
Here's a short list for you to sample - and be warned, this is just the very tip of the iceberg!

Please leave a comment - especially if you can recommend a great book blog - I love finding more.

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